Thais in a flap over public rubbing of breasts

'Thais in a flap over public rubbing of breasts' - Reuters UK, February 25, 2005
[As soon as we heard about this story we knew the foreign press would have a field day with it...]

A promotion for breast enhancing cream that involved three models having a 15 minute mammary massage in public has caused a furore in Thailand, with family groups saying it violates traditional values and morality.
Despite Bangkok's racy reputation as the "anything goes" sex capital of southeast Asia, most Thais are uncomfortable with public nudity and all newspaper pictures of the demonstration had the breasts blurred out...
Whether it works or not, a headline in the Thai Post tabloid summed up the controversy best in a society obsessed with marketing gimmicks: "Big breast bras good for people with small brains".


[2015 note: The text of this article has disappeared from the net long ago. Here is the full text.]

Friday February 25, 1:09 PM
Thais in a flap over public rubbing of breasts
BANGKOK (Reuters) - A promotion for breast enhancing cream that involved three models having a 15 minute mammary massage in public has caused a furore in Thailand, with family groups saying it violates traditional values and morality.
Despite Bangkok's racy reputation as the "anything goes" sex capital of southeast Asia, most Thais are uncomfortable with public nudity and all newspaper pictures of the demonstration had the breasts blurred out. "The campaign is just to promote the product without considering the damage to society," Ladda Thangsupachai of the Cultural Watch Centre told the Nation newspaper on Friday. "This is taking advantage of society and an irresponsible act."

Executives of St Herb Co., which makes the "breast beautifying" cream, said they laid on the stunt merely to counter suggestions their advertising claims were exaggerated.

The Nation said Ying, one of the models, was embarrassed at having to bare herself in front of the cameras, but did believe her breasts had become firmer and the gap between them smaller as a result of the treatment.

St Herb is likely to evade the wrath of regulators because the cream is "breast beautifying" rather than "breast enlarging" -- a trick missed by makers of a "breast enlarging bra" now under scrutiny from the Thai Food and Drug Administration.

Whether it works or not, a headline in the Thai Post tabloid summed up the controversy best in a society obsessed with marketing gimmicks: "Big breast bras good for people with small brains".
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